Federation Internationale de Football Association fine Switzerland's Granit Xhaka, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Xherdan Shaqiri

Switzerland's Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri have escaped a ban following their controversial celebrations in the 2-1 World Cup win over Serbia last Friday.

Xhaka, whose brother plays for Albania, ran to the touchline and locked his thumbs together with fingers outstretched to make what looks like the double-headed eagle on Albania's flag.

Under FIFA rules, this is deemed as provocative and political, and FIFA have since opened disciplinary proceedings against the duo.

Both players trace their roots to Kosovo, a former province of Serbia that declared independence in 2008 in a move that Belgrade still refuses to recognise.

Shaqiri was born in Kosovo, while Xhaka's parents are originally from Kosovo.

Arsenal midfielder Xhaka and Stoke City forward Shaqiri scored as Switzerland came from a goal down to beat Serbia. Serbia does not recognize that independence.

Head coach Mladen Krstajic is also being investigated for statements he made in the aftermath of the game.

Koeppel, who helped bring President Donald Trump's former strategist Steve Bannon to an SVP rally in Zurich, also labelled Swiss players of African descent "ensuisses", a demeaning term that questions their ties to Switzerland.

The Serbian FA was also fined SFr54,000 (£41,217) for the behaviour of fans during the game - the display of discriminatory banners and the throwing of objects.

FIFA, world soccer's ruling body, and its European counterpart UEFA ensure that Serbia and Kosovo are kept apart when making draws for European competitions.

Krstajic told Serbian journalists that German referee Felix Brych should be tried for war crimes in The Hague for failing to award his team a penalty.

Brazil and Switzerland both have 4 points, with the latter playing against Costa Rica, who have collected no points thus far.

Shaqiri said his celebration in the Kaliningrad stadium was "just emotion" but added he was not allowed to talk about politics. "I think that's something that was expected already more than 10 years ago in football, and I don't know why they waited for so long, but it's refreshing to see it".

The Serbian football association reportedly complained to FIFA before the game about the Kosovo flag on one of Shaqiri's boots.


Popular

CONNECT